The Second Most Important Sales Page on Your Website

At any given moment, the most important selling point on your website is likely to be your home page or a specific landing page, depending on which one is attracting the highest number of views. What a lot of small business owners fail to realize, however, is that the second most important sales page is one that’s often treated as an afterthought.

Years of studying web analytics have shown us that a companies “About” page gets more traffic than marketers realize. Moreover, the impression that it leaves a reader with will go a long way towards determining what will happen next. That’s particularly true if there are team member bios, or a story about the history of the business.

There are probably a couple of reasons for this. The first is that, as humans, we like to know other humans. That is, we want to know a bit more about the men and women we are doing business with. Looking into their bios and stories is a good way to understand who they are and how we might work together with them.

At the same time, the “About” page on your website tells potential customers what it is that makes you different from all of your competitors. It’s a chance to show off your unique skills, talent, or perspective. It’s your shot to fill them in on what sets you apart.

Knowing that, how can you make the most of your “About” page? Here are a few good tips to help you get started…

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4 Inexpensive Ways to Improve Your Website Today

Do you feel like your website could use a facelift, or perhaps a performance boost?

Often, we hear from business owners, managers, and executives who want to get more from their web presence, but they have been hesitant to give us a call. That’s because they are afraid that a short conversation will lead to a proposal for a brand-new website – one they might not need or be able to afford.

There certainly are times when it makes sense to build a new site from the ground up. However, if your pages were laid out in the last few years (and are mobile-compatible), then you probably don’t need to start over. In fact, there might be a few steps you can take to make your website feel new without putting much of a dent in your marketing budget.

Here are a handful of inexpensive ways you can improve your website today…

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Balancing Short vs. Long Term Internet Marketing Strategies

One of the fun things about the early days of Internet marketing was that almost everything seemed to happen instantly. You put a website or ad online, promoted it, and could be assessing the results within hours.

There is still an aspect of instant gratification to working on the web, but the process of designing websites, planning campaigns, placing ads, and (especially) evaluating results has begun to stretch out. And so, we have reached a point where online marketing has come to represent traditional marketing, in that businesses need to balance short and long-term strategies if they want to get the best results.

With that in mind, let’s look at a few ways you can get the most out of both…

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4 Ways Your SEO Can Beat the AI System

For a lot of us, the term “artificial intelligence” brings back memories of sci-fi novels, movies, and comic books. But, what was once purely in the realm of the imagined has been made real – and it’s already affecting your business.

That’s because Google and other leading tech companies are already utilizing AI in a number of ways. In particular, the world’s largest search engine is using it to assess ranking factors, analyze searcher behavior, and re-organize search results on an individualized basis.

One of the great ironies of this is that even though Google is using artificial intelligence, it’s deploying it in a way that emphasizes the human touch in content creation and online engagement. To understand how that impacts you, here are a few tips to keep in mind as SEO goes sci-fi…

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Are You About to Hire the Wrong Web Design Team?

Every business owner and executive in the world wants to get the best web design and internet marketing help they can afford. But what does “the best” really mean in this context?

That’s a question that confounds a lot of people, which is why it’s so easy to find yourself paying a deposit to a creative team and then regretting it later. That’s obviously a situation you want to avoid, so today we want to point out four red flags that suggest you’re about to hire someone who can’t or won’t give you the kind of work you need…

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Kick Start 2017 With a Website Audit

In the past week or so, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from business owners and executives who want to know one thing: How can they get the new year started on the right foot from an internet marketing perspective?

The answer I give sometimes surprises them. While many think they’re going to hear about the latest SEO trick or pay-per-click advertising gimmick, my number one recommendation is to begin the new year with a website audit. That’s a comprehensive look at your existing site that can point to problems and opportunities.

A thorough website audit is like having a mechanic take a good look at your car before along road trip, in that it can help you deal with headaches and hassles before they become something to worry about. What might we find if we look under the hood on your pages? Here are just some of the things we look for during the website audit process…

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5 Trends Shaping Internet Marketing in 2017

You’ve probably read a lot of 2017 predictions lately. That shouldn’t be a surprise – experts have predictions on politics, sports, the economy, and even which movies win awards in the coming months. But, while a lot of these forecasts will be hit-and-miss, we have a few online marketing trends that are virtually certain to make an impact in your business this year.

How can we be so confident? It’s easy, these are industry-defining movements that are already underway. In other words, they are affecting your business right now, whether you are aware of them are not.

Smart marketers are doing everything they can to stay ahead of the curve. To help you do the same, here are five big trends that will continue to shape the internet marketing landscape in 2017 and beyond…

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7 Ways Clients Kill Their Own Websites

Most business owners think the biggest threat to their new website is a competitor that upgrades their internet marketing, a dissatisfied customer who leaves a bad review online, or maybe even an algorithm change from Google that dramatically shifts the search engine results.

In reality, though, many of the problems clients have turning a website into a source of new business are self-inflicted. In other words, they hurt their own chances by engaging in common but predictable blunders. To show you just how easy it is to make these kinds of mistakes, here are seven ways business owners and executives inadvertently kill their own websites…

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How to Double the Profitability of Your Landing Pages

If you’ve been involved in Internet marketing for any length of time, then you’re probably already familiar with the agonizing process that takes place when you try to optimize your landing pages. Every element is scrutinized, from the layout to your headlines, offers, images, and calls to action.

This kind of conversion rate optimization is important because every visit to your landing page is a potential sale… and every potential buyer who leaves without taking action represents a missed opportunity.

Recognizing that, it’s surprising that so many marketers make a big mistake and miss out on the chance to double the profitability of their landing pages. How? By giving themselves a second chance to make the sale.

Some buyers just aren’t going to convert right away. They aren’t ready to make a purchase just yet, but they might be willing to later (especially if they are given another opportunity after they thought about it for a while).

Luckily, there are a couple of ways you can give yourself that second chance…

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Why Fake News Will Change SEO Forever

Anchors, commentators, and even sociologists all agree on one thing: fake news is a growing phenomenon, and one with real-world consequences. In the span of a few months, it’s gone from being an obscure topic to one that Facebook and the other leading social media platforms have promised to fight directly.

But, while the discussion about fraudulent news is currently focusing on the social side of things, we expect it will have huge repercussions in the area of search engine optimization in the near future. After all, Google could be considered the world’s biggest library and news outlet all in one. Plus, the company’s directors have prioritized author tags, authority indicators, and topical relevance in past search algorithm updates.

It’s not a big reach, then, to expect fake news will change the art of search engine optimization forever. Below, we are going to make three predictions. They certainly aren’t ironclad now, but do represent rational outcomes that would follow the trends we are seeing now. Let’s take each of the three, one by one…

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3 Problems with Template and DIY Websites

Do you really need a professional web designer to help you promote your company online, or can you just turn to one of the many template or DIY websites services out there?

The short answer is that you could certainly turn to one of those options, as thousands of business owners and managers undoubtedly do. If you want your website to be profitable, though, it’s probably best if you work with a proven team of creative professionals. I don’t say that because we want you to pay a higher fee—to us or anyone else—but because it’s the option that’s likely to lead to a profitable result.

To understand why, here are three common problems small businesses have with web templates and DIY websites…

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How to Create an Instant Online Marketing Video

By now, nearly every business owner and marketer knows that online video is incredibly powerful for grabbing attention and generating conversions. Yet many are hesitant to even get started with video, much less produce clips on a regular basis.

For most companies, the big stumbling block seems to be the amount of time and preparation it takes to produce a good marketing video clip… or at least the amount of time they think it has to take. Today we’re going to show you how you can create a high-quality video that your fans and followers will love—one that can be made in just 30 minutes or less.

Here’s our quick guide to creating an instant online marketing video for your business

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4 Simple Tips for Facebook Branding Success

Facebook isn’t just for sharing vacation photos and snarky memes anymore. If you are a small business owner, or someone who manages sales and marketing for small business, then you should be using the social network to build your brand and connect with new buyers.

Obviously, there are entire books, courses, and seminars built on social engagement and advertising. But what if you’re just looking for a few quick tips to get started? Today, we want to share four simple pieces of advice you can use to grow your company on Facebook, even if you don’t have a lot of experience beyond posting fun things for your friends and family…

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4 Hidden Factors That Affect SEO Effectiveness

When the topic turns to search engine optimization, business owners tend to obsess over keyword density, inbound link scoring, and recent Google algorithm changes. But, while they are often concerned with the overall strength of their search visibility, many never pay much attention to the effectiveness of their SEO campaigns.

From our point of view, effectiveness really comes down to the bottom line results that are being generated. And really, isn’t that what should matter most?

If you agree, then it’s worth considering a few additional factors that can draw visitors to your website and convince them to either stay or leave. Let’s take a look at four details that often get overlooked when evaluating search engine optimization campaigns…

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3 Reasons Most Websites Fail

When business owners and their web design teams launch a site, it’s usually with high hopes and big expectations. Before long, though, those feelings are highly likely to turn to regret and disappointment.

That’s because most business websites fail. They don’t attract enough visitors to affect marketing, fail to help a company stand out, and make no appreciable difference on the bottom line (beyond the sizeable sums that are spent to design them).

Believe it or not, that’s as bad for companies like mine as it is for businesses like yours. When clients are disappointed with their new websites, they are hesitant to invest in online marketing again. And more often than not, they tell their colleagues to avoid making the same mistake.

The mistake isn’t getting a new website, though, it’s going about it the wrong way. I’ve learned again and again over the years that businesses—and especially small business—make the same few blunders that hold them back. To help you avoid them, here are three big reasons most new websites fail…

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3 Ways to Make Content Marketing Less of a Chore

Although there are business people who enjoy writing, the vast majority of marketers consider content marketing to be a necessary evil. It’s a chore, not unlike washing dishes, folding laundry, or doing taxes.

There probably isn’t anything we can put in this article that will make you suddenly began to love the process of putting words onto the page, especially if it’s something you already don’t like doing. However, there are a few tips we can give you that can make the process of coming up with material for your content marketing plan a little bit easier.

Here are three suggestions that can save you a great deal of time, stress, and aggravation

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How to Attract Leads With Your Website

Now more than ever, business owners are obsessed with attracting inbound leads from their websites. That’s a good thing—if your web presence isn’t generating sales opportunities, then what’s the point of having it in the first place?

At the same time, though, a lot of marketers seem to think that the process will take care of itself if they just put up a nice enough layout and some content that’s free of obvious typos. Unfortunately, it takes a little more than that to find business on the web. In fact, if you want to attract leads with your business website, there are a few steps you’re going to have to follow every time…

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Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Search Engine Optimization?

Science fiction writers have been wondering about the effects supercomputers and artificial intelligence might have on society for at least half a century. Now that the technology is actually becoming a reality, however, it’s those of us in the world of internet marketing who are among the most heavily affected (at least for now).

In fact, there are some who think artificial intelligence will replace (or effectively do away with) an online marketing staple in the next few years. But could AI really render search engine optimization obsolete? And should you be worried as a marketer?.

To find the answers, here are a few things we have to keep in mind…

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Why Responsive Web Design is Being Replaced by Mobile First Marketing

For the last few years, responsive web design has been a huge trend in our industry. And it still is the recommended way to think about building a new website or upgraded web presence. However, we’re starting to see a slow shift in terminology and perspective. Instead of “responsive” websites that are “mobile compatible,” more and more marketers are taking a “mobile first” approach to their sites.

Is this just a difference in wording, or something bigger? To get to the answer, there are a few things we need to think about

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3 Web Design Difference-makers You Can’t Overlook

A lot of business owners don’t realize that it truly can be the little things that make all the difference when it comes to establishing a strong and profitable web presence. Items like layouts, logos, and headlines are important, but many of our clients tend to overlook a few special touches that can help them gain an edge over their competitors.

Here are three in particular you should make the most of if you want to get the full value from your business website…

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The Compounding Interest of Content Marketing

Albert Einstein once referred to compounding interest as the “eighth wonder of the world.” He was talking about the tendency of money to grow over time, but he could have just as easily have been referring to the exponential power of content to attract new visitors to your website… had such a thing been invented in his era.

As it turns out, the pages, posts, and articles you add to your website do indeed grow just like your invested savings do. In fact, content can be almost better, since the results of content marketing are more predictable than the stock market.

To understand why there is so much power in having new articles and ideas being added to your site all the time, let’s look at a few of the positive effects that grow and increase in strength over the weeks, months, and years while you keep generating content…

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How to Beat Facebook’s Engagement Formula

Facebook has been growing and growing for a number of years—reaching more than 1.5 billion users around the world—so it shouldn’t come as a shock that something was going to have to give eventually. And as it turns out, that “something” is the length of the average user’s feed.

There simply isn’t enough time and space for most Facebook users to see everything that’s being thrown at them. So, the company developed a new social engagement formula to help users see what they really don’t want to miss while filtering out the rest.

If you are one of the tens of millions of people who log on to Facebook daily, that’s good news. If you are a marketer who needs to reach fans and followers to sell your products or services, it’s not necessarily such a great thing (at least not at first glance). In fact, some estimates show that only 5 to 10% of the people you are connected to will see your content updates at any given time. That’s not many of them, and the issue is only getting worse.

However, there are things you can do to beat Facebook’s engagement formula, and to reach a much larger segment of the market as a result. Here are a few quick tips you can put to use starting today…

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The 5 Rules of Facebook Image Posts

If you want your Facebook marketing posts to attract attention, then you’d better say it with pictures. Images aren’t just processed more quickly by the human brain, they make a stronger emotional impression. Of course, you don’t have to know that to tell the difference between image‐based posts and ones made from text—if you’ve been on Facebook for more than a few minutes, you have already noticed images are far more likely to be seen, commented on, and shared by your fans and followers.

But, knowing you should use images on Facebook is one thing, and getting real marketing mileage from them is another. To help you make an impact with all the pictures you send out into the world from your business account, here are five simple rules you should follow…

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Do You Need Hosting With an SSL?

Web hosting isn’t necessarily the most exciting part of the web design and Internet marketing process. In fact, lots of clients just choose the cheapest hosting package they can find, or the first one their web design team recommends. I guess that a good percentage of business owners couldn’t tell you where their websites are hosted off the top of their heads, and certainly wouldn’t be able to give details about their level of service.

As understandable as that is, it can lead to bottlenecks on your website. Or to put things another way, better hosting can make a bigger difference than you might think. Premium web hosting can make your website faster, more reliable, and safer from attacks. In addition, better hosting gives you the option of adding SSL—or Secure Sockets Layer—protection to your website.

You’ve probably heard of SSL already, and have undoubtedly used it several times already today. But, more business owners than ever are asking about this particular feature because Google recently named it as a search engine signal. That means your website can be easier for customers to find with an SSL than it would be without one.

So, does that mean you should upgrade your hosting and add SSL to your website? To find the answer, let’s take a look at a couple of things you get when you make the change…

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What Pokémon GO Teaches Us About Mobile Marketing

When it comes to Pokémon GO, there are two types of people: those who are ready to take to the streets—virtually any time or any place—in order to catch the latest prize, and those of us (like me) who don’t quite understand what all the fuss is about.

Regardless of what you think of the game, though, it does teach us a few things about mobile web computing. And, business owners and marketers at every level would do well to pay close attention to the lessons that can be learned from watching millions of people chase imaginary animals.

If that sounds a little far-fetched, let’s look at a few things Pokémon GO teaches us about mobile marketing…

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Busy is Bad– Here’s Why

What does “busy” actually mean? It’s become an unspoken rule in business that the word “busy” is the equivalent to “success.” However, just because there is a lot of work to be done, does not mean the work is worthwhile. The culture of “busy” needs to change. Here are some ideas which may have you reassess the way you look at your workload.

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3 Ways to Grow Your Customer Base and Keep People Coming Back

It is difficult to overstate the importance of maintaining a customer base. It is far easier to sell to old customers than it is to bring in new ones. Measures must be put in place which keep customers coming back. Here are three pieces of advice which will improve the way you interact with customers to keep them returning for more.

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4 Errors Which Derail the Value of Your Website

Small issues can create large problems. For instance, something as simple as a broken link breaks the flow of your website and may prevent leads from contacting your firm. It’s important to be aware of seemingly innocuous mistakes or errors that can sabotage your site. Here are four common, easy to miss errors which may drag down the efficiency, and therefore value, of your business’ website:

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Your Lowest Hanging Fruit is Your Mobile Web Presence, This is How to Capitalize.

We’re long past the point where a responsive or mobile optimized web presence is a “nice-to-have.” Findings from KPCB show that time spent on mobile in the US has increased to 51%, compared to 42% for PCs. Knowing this, we must come to the conclusion that if we’re not reaching mobile prospects via mobile organic (unpaid) search, we’re losing those prospects to competitors who are. Beyond the visibility factor, the lack of a quality mobile user experience of your website has some serious implications.

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5 Ways to Use the Web to Increase Profits

Ready to start getting more from your website and internet marketing campaigns?

Lots of business owners talk about embracing the web and making the most out of online opportunities, however many end up pursuing the same strategies month after month. The first step to avoiding that kind of frustration is knowing what you have to do. If you want this year to be your most successful yet, then look at these five ways to boost profits:

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Your Business Could Be Disrupted, Learn How to Adapt and Survive

Transportation, newspapers, and video stores- these are industries which have seen massive changes within the past few years. Companies which were once giants in these fields have either gone bankrupt or seen a massive loss in their profits.  Yet demand for navigation, information, and entertainment hasn’t disappeared. People will always need directions to a specific destination or want to keep up with current political events. Since this is the case, why are the original industry figureheads suffering so much? The answer is simple: other companies are doing the same thing better, cheaper, and faster by utilizing a different business model. Apps such as Uber and Lyft offer a more affordable and convenient alternative to taxicabs, news can be found for free on a multitude of websites as well as on social media, and the prevalence of digital media has rendered physical media near obsolete. Don’t be caught off guard, prepare yourself with the knowledge you need in order to navigate a rapidly shifting market.

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4 Ways to Cure Indecisiveness and Make Better Decisions

The current state of our lives is a result of the many decisions we’ve made leading up to the present. Many are made without conscious effort, like deciding which route to take home from work. Others require more brain power, such as contemplating marriage. The same is true of our professional lives. Accepting a meeting invite is trivial compared with the task of evaluating and deciding on a new-hire from a pool of qualified applicants. How do we ensure that we’re consistently making the best decisions? Here are a few of the techniques that great leaders use to make better decisions.

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3 Tips for Writing Effective Product Descriptions

Product descriptions are incredibly easy to take for granted given how ubiquitous they are with online marketplaces. Whenever you visit a product page, you expect the description and you expect it to be written in a certain way. It can come as a shock to realize that someone wrote those descriptions at one point. This usually happens when the tables are turned and suddenly you find yourself operating your own ecommerce system. You understand your products, you know what they do and how to sell them, but actually writing that description can still be difficult. It can even feel as if they are supposed to write themselves.

We are here to help. With our expertise in web development, we have worked on multiple ecommerce sites and have come to understand how to craft powerful product descriptions. These simple tips and tricks will allow your ecommerce site to stand out from the crowd and dominate the market…

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3 Election Year Internet Marketing Lessons

Every week, more and more Americans are going to the polls to support their favorite candidates. But, while political writers will be thinking about elections and policy implications, we have been watching the whole thing through the lens of Internet marketing. Specifically, we’ve been wondering what kinds of lessons business owners and managers can draw from what they are seeing.

If you’re wondering what kind of tips you can glean from election season, you’re in luck. Here are three great web marketing insights you can gather from the ongoing debates, polls, and primaries:

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Why WordPress Sites Offer Huge Bottom Line Value

Over the past few years, WordPress has become so popular that it’s now the default choice for most business owners – and their web designers – when it comes to building and establishing a new web presence. In most cases, it’s simply assumed you will want your next website to be constructed in WordPress.

New clients, and especially those who haven’t upgraded their websites in many years, often wonder why this is. What is it that makes WordPress so fantastic, especially when it comes to building web pages for small businesses?

The answer doesn’t necessarily have to do with a certain look or layout, but the fact that WordPress offers huge bottom-line value. It gives you the most bang for your buck. Here are just a few of the biggest reasons why…

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The Best (and Worst) Ways to Pick a Web Designer

Choosing a web designer sounds easy. They’re certainly enough of us out there to make finding one a snap, and we all have portfolios of work that should make it easy to select the right style and move forward from there.

As any business owner who has been burned by the wrong creative team can tell you, however, there’s a lot more to finding the right web designer than firing up Google and seeing who has the right artistic style. In fact, that’s one of the easiest ways to waste money and find yourself frustrated.

With that in mind, let us share with you the best and worst ways to pick a web designer to work with…

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Do You Need a Custom WordPress Theme?

If the decision to use WordPress as the platform for your new business website is easy, figuring out how to build the WordPress pages you want might not be. That’s because business owners and marketers are immediately hit with a sometimes confusing question: do you need a custom WordPress theme, or can you build from an existing template?

The advantages of using a template are clear – they cost less and don’t take much time to implement. So, if you’re in a hurry, or on a budget, having your website built from a template can seem like a natural choice.

Before you make that decision in a hurry, though, remember there are some powerful benefits to having a custom WordPress theme designed for your website. It’s the online equivalent of having a suit that’s tailored just for you, instead of buying “off the rack.” That brings some visual advantages, of course, but also a few added bits of functionality and security.

Here are a few advantages of custom WordPress themes to keep in mind…

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